Review: Light & Motion Urban 500

Good beam pattern and side visibility at a $100 price point

Lights Lights Shootout

2015 Lights Shootout

Light & Motion Urban 500 Front

Light & Motion has trickled down their Urban Technology to the Urban 500 with 528 measured Lumens for $100. Run time is still at 1:30 and most of its features remain unchanged, except for a vibrant blue color now and better packaging.

This is a good commuter light with a nice beam pattern and excellent side lighting. The mounting strap is very secure and easy to attach to any size handlebar. So this really is a price point light with a more powerful sibling in the Urban 800 (800 Lumens) for $150.

Unfortunately, the competition is much tougher now with the Bontrager Ion 700 light for $100 putting out 682 Lumens. The CatEye Volt 700 puts out 772 Lumens for $120.

It’s a tough market now but this Urban 500 is a good choice if you want a solid light with a good beam pattern and side visibility, plus the solid reputation of Light & Motion.

Video: Test loop with the Urban 500. Camera is on a locked ISO setting and is set to Wide Angle mode

Mounting

Handlebar mounting is done with a very slick strap that can be tightened based on the rider’s preference. The same strap is used for standard and oversized handlebars. At first we found the strap too long and found the excess bothersome, but we realized we can loop the strap back in the pin and tuck it neatly. It can be aimed left to right. There is an included helmet mount and it works very well. The light can be aimed up/down and left/right. The light is 121 grams, so it’s hardly noticeable on the helmet.

Beam Pattern Photo

We photographed the lights in the same location setting with the same camera settings. The photos were taken in the back yard that is approximately 25 yards long. These photos feature many objects and a distinct background to analyze detail and beam pattern. Compare all Beam Patterns here »

Light & Motion Urban 500 Backyard Beam Pattern

Integrating Sphere Measured Lumens

This light measured 528 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 500 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle. Compare all Lumen Tests here »

Light & Motion Urban 500 Lumen Chart

Strengths
  • Excellent light output and beam pattern
  • Good switch action and logic
  • Bar and helmet mount are included
  • Different price points are available
  • Side lights are great for commuting safety
Weaknesses
  • Competition is brighter now for the same price
  • The yellow side lights can get annoying for mountain biking applications and they can’t be turned off
  • Mount can not be taken off easily to use this as a handy flashlight
  • Light has not changed in a few years
Specifications
  • Price: $100
  • Claimed Lumens: 500 Lumens
  • Measured Lumens: 528 Lumens
  • Lumens per $: 5.28 Lumens
  • Lumens per gram: 4.36 Lumens
  • Time on High: 1:30 Hours
  • Charge Time: 2:30 Hours
  • Mounted Weight: 121 grams
  • Category: Flashlight/Commuter
Overall Rating

4 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4 out of 5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

For more information visit www.lightandmotion.com.

This article is part of Mtbr and RoadBikeReview’s 2015 Lights Shootout. To see all the bike lights tested CLICK HERE.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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